Local vigils held to honor Officer Anthony Dia

The hearse carrying Toledo Police Officer Anthony Dia prepares to leave the funeral home...
The hearse carrying Toledo Police Officer Anthony Dia prepares to leave the funeral home Tuesday morning. (WTVG)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 12:33 AM EDT
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From his hometown to his police station, to the place where he took his last call, hundreds have gathered to remember Toledo Polilce Officer Anthony Dia.

Vigils were held in Dia's hometown of Bedford, Michigan, as well as The Home Depot on W. Alexis Road, where Dia was shot on July 4. His faith-based Muslim community met there, along with the Dia family.

"He was a practicing Muslim, and above all, he was a citizen of this town, of this city and he had friends, he has family, and we all feel for him," says Dr. Maseeh Rehmen, president of the United Muslims Association of Toledo.

Later, the Dia family would continue to be surrounded by Anthony's brothers and sister's in blue at the Toledo Police headquarters.

Other law enforcement families joined in mourning, including Dennis Moore, whose daughter is also a TPD officer.

"The memorials, over in the parking lots and everybody flying their flags, making t-shirts, everybody is helping bring the community together a little more," Moore said.

During the vigil, Officer Dia's father and his youngest son said a few prayers for the crowd.

The night ended with graduates of Officer Dia's police class lighting paper lanterns with messages to their fallen hero.

Tony Dia, who had

, expressed his gratitude for the show of support.

"It's made it so much easier to deal with my son's losing his life, and I just don't know how I'm going to be when everything cools down tomorrow," says Dia. "But I just want to thank everybody."

The funeral will take place at Savage Arena on campus at The University of Toledo. The event is closed to the Dia family, friends and others in Dia's faith community, and other first responders.